[This is long. I’m sorry.]
I wrote earlier today that the Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa) situation had become a full-blown Ethics Train Wreck, and that is true. It is an ETW because there is virtually no way one can get involved with the controversy in any way and not risk blundering into unethical conduct. If one rushes to condemn the Iowa Congressman without examining the evidence, that is unfair. If one tries to excise him from his position before the end of his term without more than just an objection to his choice of words, one is interfering with the free choice of his constituents regarding whom they want representing their interests in Washington. If one attempts to defend him, there is a risk of rationalizing and excusing bigotry on the part of a lawmaker. If one sides with his critics enemies, one may be facilitating a cynical effort to mis-characterize King and distort his sentiments to use him as a weapon against President Trump, Republicans, and conservatives generally, for “Trump, Republicans and conservatives endorse racism and white supremacy” is one of the loudest narratives that has been promoted since the 2016 election and before.
Let us not forget that King himself started this train wreck rolling with his own careless and defiant rhetoric. His latest was a quote from an elusive interview in the New York Times, in which King said,
“White nationalist, white supremacist, Western civilization — how did that language become offensive?”
Despite King’s protestations that he had been misunderstood, Republicans, Democrats and the news media condemned his statement as racist, and he was stripped of all committee assignments by his party, as Democrats readied an attempt to have him formally censured.
It is not difficult to clarify the difference between an admiration for the amazing and undeniable achievements of Western culture, and a belief that the color of the people responsible for building it was a factor in its success. Despite the fact that King raises the issue frequently, however, he has somehow never managed to make the distinction clear. There is therefore a rebuttable presumption that he doesn’t believe there is a distinction. The alternative is that he, much like the President of whom he was an early supporter, lacks the command over the language to explore such distinctions competently. If that is true, then he is disrupting national discourse and seeding division and hate through incompetence.
I regard King as a less articulate, less intelligent, less amiable version of Pat Buchanan, the conservative gadfly and pundit who helped defeat George H.W. Bush’s bid for reelection and who inadvertently helped elect his son President. Buchanan is an anti-Semite, a xenophobe, a homophobe and a racist. He is very clear that he regards immigration as a threat to what he believes must be a Christian, white, European-dominated culture in the U.S. Unlike King, he is direct and unambiguous about it:
- “If we do not get control of our borders, by 2050 Americans of European descent will be a minority in the nation their ancestors created and built,” Buchanan wrote in his 2006 book “State of Emergency.”
- In “Suicide of a Superpower: Will America Survive to 2025?,” he wrote, “[T]he decline in academic test scores here at home and in international competition is likely to continue, as more and more of the children taking those tests will be African-American and Hispanic.
- Buchanan, though calling Anders Breivik, who murdered 77 people in Norway “evil,” added : “As for a climactic conflict between a once-Christian West and an Islamic world that is growing in numbers and advancing inexorably into Europe for the third time in 14 centuries, on this one, Breivik may be right.”
- From his column “Are Liberals Anti-WASP?” May 14, 2010: “If [Elena] Kagan [President Obama’s nominee to the Supreme Court] is confirmed, Jews, who represent less than 2 percent of the U.S. population, will have 33 percent of the Supreme Court seats. Is this Democrats’ idea of diversity?”
- Extolling the good old days in “Right from the Beginning”: “In the late 1940’s and 1950’s…race was never a preoccupation with us, we rarely thought about it….There were no politics to polarize us then, to magnify every slight. The ‘Negroes’ of Washington had their public schools, restaurants, bars, movie houses, playgrounds and churches; and we had ours.”
- “How is America committing suicide? Every way a nation can. The American majority is not reproducing itself. Its birthrate has been below replacement level for decades. Forty-five million of its young have been destroyed in the womb since Roe v. Wade, as Asian, African, and Latin American children come to inherit the estate the lost generation of American children never got to see…our minority population rose 2.4 million to exceed 100 million. Hispanics, 1 percent of the U.S. population in 1950, are now 14.4 percent. Since 2000, their numbers have soared 25 percent to 45 million. The U.S. Asian population grew by 24 percent since 2000, as the number of white kids of school age fell 4 percent. Half the children five and younger today are minority children….The Anglo population of California is down to 43 percent and falling fast. White folks are now a minority in Texas and New Mexico. In Arizona, Hispanics account for more than half the population under twenty. The America Southwest is returning to Mexico.” That’s Buchanan just 11 years ago, in Pat’s “Day of Reckoning: How Hubris, Ideology, and Greed are Tearing America Apart.”
- Also from the same book: “The United States, the greatest republic since Rome, and the British Empire, the greatest empire since Rome, may be said to have arisen from that three-cornered fort the Jamestown settlers began to build the day they arrived. But that Republic and that empire did not rise because the settlers and those who followed believed in diversity, equality, and democracy, but because they rejected diversity, equality, and democracy. The English, the Virginians, the Americans were all ‘us-or-them’ people. They believed in the superiority of their Christian faith and English culture and civilization. And they transplanted that unique faith, culture, and civilization to America’s fertile soil…This was our land, not anybody else’s. But today America and Britain have embraced ideas about the innate equality of all cultures, civilizations, languages, and about the mixing of all tribes, races, and peoples, that are not only ahistorical, they are suicidal for America and the West.”
There are many quotes like these, for Buchanan writes a lot. As you probably noticed, either King reads a lot of Pat’s work, he thinks the same way without quite being able to express it clearly or perhaps he doesn’t have the courage that Buchanan has to say what he believes and accept the consequences. Some of those quotes sound a lot like King.
What makes it difficult to accurately and fairly define what’s wrong with King’s statements through the years, in addition to his own lazy speech habits, is the ongoing tendency of the leftward, anti-conservative news media to assert that statements that are not racist are, and indeed to obliterate any precise meaning of racism into convenient vagueness. For example, a New York Times article called “A History of Steve King’s Racist Remarks” almost convinced me to defend King. It is incredible that the Times would be so dishonest, inflammatory and unfair as to assemble the “remarks” it chose under the description of “racist.” The fact that it would tell us more about the biases and untrustworthiness of the Times than it does about King. The problem is that while the Times and others will claim that almost anything King (or Donald Trump) says is proof of racism, there are enough real racist and xenophobic sentiments in the mix to justifiably conclude that King is Buchanan II.
“Mr. King, in the Iowa State Senate, files a bill requiring schools teach that the United States “is the unchallenged greatest nation in the world and that it has derived its strength from … Christianity, free enterprise capitalism and Western civilization.”
Not racist. Not even close.
Mr. King is the chief sponsor of a law making English the official language of Iowa, [and ] Mr. King introduces the English Language Unity Act, a bill to make English the official language of the United States.”
Again, not even close. Many people of good faith, including me, believe that the U.S., its culture, education and commerce would be well served by declaring English to be the official language.
Mr. King sues the Iowa Secretary of State for posting voting information on an official website in Spanish, Laotian, Bosnian and Vietnamese.’
Stupid, yes. Racist, no.
At a rally in Las Vegas, Mr. King calls the deaths of Americans at the hands of undocumented immigrants “a slow-motion Holocaust.” He claims that 25 Americans die daily because of undocumented immigrants, an unsupported and illogical leap from government statistics, which years later influences talking points by President Trump.”
The “slow motion Holocaust” conspiracy theory is a white supremacist trope. Racist.
On the House floor, Mr. King demonstrates a model of a 12-foot concrete border wall topped with electrified wire that he designed: “We need to do a few other things on top of that wall, and one of them being to put a little bit of wire on top here to provide a disincentive for people to climb over the top or put a ladder there. We could also electrify this wire … We do that with livestock all the time.”
Oh, I get the theory: the Times is implying that King is comparing illegals to animals. No, he’s comparing fences.
Mr. King on the House floor, speaking of how law enforcement officers can spot undocumented immigrants: What kind of clothes people wear … what kind of shoes people wear, what kind of accent they have … sometimes it’s just a sixth sense they can’t put their finger on.
Apparently the Times thinks that even discussing illegal immigrants is racist. Seriously, how is this a “racist remark’?
Mr. King in a speech opposing the Affordable Care Act’s mandate to cover contraception: Preventing babies being born is not medicine. That’s not constructive to our culture and our civilization. If we let our birthrate get down below the replacement rate, we’re a dying civilization.
Race isn’t mentioned or alluded to, yet the Times calls this a “racist remark.” Amazing. Nah, there’s no mainstream media bias!
On a panel at the Conservative Political Action Conference with Peter Brimelow, an open white nationalist, Mr. King referred to multiculturalism as: a tool for the Left to subdivide a culture and civilization into our own little ethnic enclaves and pit us against each other.
Is any statement to a white nationalist “racist”?
Mr. King on why he opposes legal status for Dreamers, who were brought into the country as children: “For everyone who’s a valedictorian, there’s another 100 out there that weigh 130 pounds and they’ve got calves the size of cantaloupes because they’re hauling 75 pounds of marijuana across the desert. Those people would be legalized with the same act.”
I don’t know what to make of that one, but the Times seems to believe that anyone opposing the “Dreamers” is a racist.
Mr. King invites the far-right, anti-Islam Dutch politician Geert Wilders to Washington and appears with him at the Capitol. Mr. Wilders has called Islam “not a religion,” said the Quran was “worse than Mein Kampf,” and called for the closing of mosques.
So the theory is that giving a platform to someone who is hostile to Islam is a “racist remark”?
Mr. King tweets a selfie with Mr. Wilders in front of a portrait of Winston Churchill. Mr. Wilders praises Mr. King for having “the guts to speak out.”
At least there’s an actual remark in that one. There are many excellent reasons to be critical of Islam, and they have nothing to do with racism or white supremacy.
At the Republican National Convention in July, Mr. King claims that nonwhite groups haven’t contributed as much as whites to civilization: “This whole business does get a little tired. I would ask you to go back through history and figure out where are these contributions that have been made by these other categories of people you are talking about. Where did any other subgroup of people contribute more to civilization?”
Racist. Toting up racist accomplishment scorecards is signature significance for racists and white supremacists.
Mr. King to The Washington Post days later: “The idea of multiculturalism, that every culture is equal — that’s not objectively true … We’ve been fed that information for the past 25 years, and we’re not going to become a greater nation if we continue to do that.”
He’s right; all cultures are not equal. The position isn’t racist because it goes against progressive cant.
In a tweet during a meeting in Amsterdam with Mr. Wilders and Frauke Petry, the leader of Germany’s far-right Alternative for Germany party, Mr. King says, “Cultural suicide by demographic transformation must end.”
Pure Buchanan. That’s coded xenophobia and “mongrel race” KKK rhetoric. Racist.
In October, Marine Le Pen, the leader of France’s far-right party, tweets a picture of her meeting with Mr. King, the first elected American official to meet her.
Ah! Someone else tweeting a photo is a racist remark by King! “All the news that’s fit to print”!
Also in October, Mr. King meets in Austria with leaders of the far-right Freedom Party, including Heinz-Christian Strache and Norbert Hofer. The party was founded in the 1950s by former Nazis.
It’s not racist to meet with someone….
“Wilders understands that culture and demographics are our destiny. We can’t restore our civilization with somebody else’s babies,” Mr. King tweets in his endorsement of Mr. Wilders in Dutch elections.
“We can’t restore our civilization with somebody else’s babies” is close enough to a racist sentiment to qualify. Racist.
On March 14, Mr. King defends the tweet on Breitbart radio: “We’re watching as Western civilization is shrinking in the face of the massive, epic migration that is pouring into Europe. That’s the core of that tweet. They’re importing a different culture, a different civilization — and that culture and civilization, the imported one, rejects the host culture. And so they are supplanting Western civilization with Middle Eastern civilization and I say, and Geert Wilders says, Western civilization is a superior civilization — it is the first world.”
I put this on the other side of the line. Giving King the benefit of the doubt, he’s saying that the migrants from the Middle East into Europe aren’t assimilating. That’s a valid concern.
On Iowa talk radio, Mr. King recommends “The Camp of the Saints,” a racist 1973 novel about an invasion of Europe by nonwhite immigrants.
And I recommended that my son read “Mein Kampf” and the “Communist Manifesto,” just like my professors in college recommended to me.
Mr. King tweets agreement with Viktor Orban, Hungary’s authoritarian leader: “Mixing cultures will not lead to a higher quality of life but a lower one.”
That’s a stupid comment, a false comment and an ignorant comment, but not a racist comment. Does King really not know how much other cultures have strengthened U.S. culture?
Mr. King says he does not want Somali Muslims working in meatpacking plants in Iowa: “I don’t want people doing my pork that won’t eat it, let alone hope I go to hell for eating pork chops.”
Stupid and gratuitously hostile.
Asked by a reporter for HuffPost if he is a white nationalist or white supremacist, Mr. King responds: “I don’t answer those questions. I say to people that use those kind of allegations: Use those words a million times, because you’re reducing the value of them every time, and many of the people that use those words and make those allegations and ask those questions can’t even define the words they’re using.”
Huh? Whatever that means, it’s not racist.
In an interview with a web publication in Austria, unzensuriert.at, which is linked to the far-right Freedom Party, Mr. King again praises the novel “Camp of the Saints”: “This narrative should be imprinted into everyone’s brain. When you are importing people, even importing one single person, you are importing their culture.”
I’m not sure what this is, but it is clear that King needs to talk less and think more.
In the same interview, Mr. King demonstrates familiarity with the “Great Replacement” conspiracy theory, also known as “white genocide,” which posits that an international elite, including prominent Jews like George Soros, are plotting to make white populations minorities in Europe and North America. “Great replacement, yes,” Mr. King says. “These people walking into Europe by ethnic migration, 80 percent are young men. They are somebody else’s babies.”
The cumulative effect of statements like this is that they come from a fearful, race and ethnicity-obsessed mind. No, it’s not a “racist” remark, but this is the way many racists talk.
Mr. King endorses a Toronto mayoral candidate, Faith Goldy, who had recited the “14 words” used by neo-Nazis and gave an interview to a podcast for the neo-Nazi website The Daily Stormer.
Not a racist remark, but strong evidence that King is not sufficiently repelled by racism and racists.
The Anti-Defamation League writes to Speaker Paul D. Ryan calling for the censure of Mr. King for endorsing Ms. Goldy. The group also notes that the Austrian Freedom Party is “riddled with anti-Semitism and Holocaust trivialization.” [and] Representative Steve Stivers, chairman of the Republican House election committee, condemns Mr. King in a tweet: “We must stand up against white supremacy and hate in all forms, and I strongly condemn this behavior.”
A bit desperate to pad the list are we? Or is this more indication that the Left is adopting the concept that an accusation is proof?
Asked on Oct. 21 on WHO-TV in Iowa, “What is a white nationalist?” Mr. King answers: “First of all, I think you have to be white, but then we’ve got Rachel Dolezal who didn’t have to be black to be black. It is a derogatory term today. I wouldn’t have thought so maybe a year or two or three ago. But today they use it as a derogatory term and they imply you are a racist. That’s the bottom line for that.”
What is the argument, King defenders, that this isn’t a racist remark? Racist.
The final tally:
- Racist remarks: 5
- Close calls: 2
- Perhaps dumb, impolitic, or offensive, but not racist: 22
1. The Times is a biased, unprofessional, untrustworthy hack publication,
2. Just because they are out to get you doesn’t mean you don’t deserve it,
3. Steve King is a racist as well as a white nationalist and a white supremacist. It’s signature significance: if he were not, he owuldn’t have made any of those five statements, nor the one that got him in trouble now.
4. The Republicans are obligated to publicly rebuke him.
62 thoughts on “Fairness Inquiry: Is Rep. Steve King A Racist?”
King has treated conservatives who are minorities well in the past. So, I have to question if he is a racist. I would argue he is an American chauvinist who had made racist remarks, but his civil/kind treatment of African-American conservatives like Antonia Okafor does raise doubts if he is an out-and-out racist.
I think four of the comments are racist (I think the “slow-motion Holocaust” one is insensitive but not racist and thus more in the category of dumb/offensive things as opposed to being out-and-out racist).
One of the problems, though, is this: The accusation of racism has been thrown about so wildly by the Left against the Right that these days in order to silence opposition to certain policy proposals. As such, it will take overwhelming evidence for the Right to accept that someone is racist. The overplaying of the race card over the past few decades allows the Steve Kings of the world to get a larger following before the proof emerges.
It should also be noted that far too many establishment politicians have chosen to view ANY immigration law enforcement as racist. As such, if only racist will enforce immigration law, the people could very well turn to a racist to get the enforcement they want.
I wondered about the “The “slow motion Holocaust” conspiracy theory is a white supremacist trope. Racist.” thing, myself, since the phrase itself didn’t sound particularly racist. When I Googled it (Bing, actually) most of the hits were about the war on drugs, and mass incarceration. Page 2 cited a Mother Jones article referencing the ADL objecting to King’s co-opting of the term “Holocaust”.
Not being up on white nationalists, I can’t swear that they haven’t used the phrase, too. But, if so, they don’t seem to have done a very good job of making it their trope.
This phrase is a mixture of tropes. I’ll explain: ‘Slow motion ethnic replacement‘ is a more-or-less accepted term used in many different forums and blogs that take a critical position of the present ‘liberal regime’ and the same ‘regime’ that so-called conservatives participate in and serve. These might be termed Alt-Right or New Right or Fringe Right or Extreme Right or Neo-Nazi views depending on the color of your prejudice.
The best illustration is the following speech:
Steve King has ‘mixed metaphors’ and has made a mis-statement as a result. If illegal immigrants happen every once in a while to murder someone there is no way to describe it as a ‘Holocaust’. The term is very badly chosen. He seems to have mixed up the metaphor with the real concern about ‘ethnic replacement’. Sloppy thinking, sloppy speaking.
Ethnic replacement is easily described when one meditates on the fact that in 1960 European-Americans were 90% of the demographic but now, 60 years later, they are 65%.
Plainly and simply that is ‘ethnic replacement’. Now, if knowledge of this fact and this reality, and concern about it is ‘a white supremacist trope’, then I guess there is nothing more to say. To be concerned about the replacement of your ethnicity is therefore a sign of ‘white supremacism’.
Hundreds of thousands — millions — of people are taking issue with that way of describing and labeling the concerns of European-Americans. If this is ‘white supremacism’ then again there is nothing more to talk about.
Is seems just slightly reasonable though to suggest that this is not necessarily the case. Just an itzy-bitzy teeny-tiny ever-so-slight possibility of the most remote sort that to have that concern is a reasonable and defensible concern.
One must look at the structure of the *arguments* that are brought to bear against a fair sort of ‘white identity’. And one must look at what is actually happening. Then, a different understanding might develop.
Just an itzy-bitzy teeny-tiny ever-so-slight possibility though.
And because he’s a sloppy speaker, he could very well have meant that he fears that slow replacement of Americans of European descent has and continues to have an influence on the population’s acceptance of America’s egalitarian values and traditions. If we are slowly being replaced by Latinas that view our country as a paycheck rather than the “Land of the Free and the Home of the Brave”, then it could have an adverse affect on our free institutions. I wonder if that’s more along the lines of what he meant.
I admit to being inherently suspicious of coded words and phrases that woke Americans are supposed to keep track of and avoid using because someone has decided the concept is too identified with a controversial group.
Agreed. The Times piece is smoking gun proof of how vague the term “racism” has become.
There’s an joke I’ve heard for many years: “Racist!” is what someone on the Left shouts when they have lost an argument.
Which does not mean that there aren’t real racists.
Sure there are. The left’s over use of the term means they get cover for it, too. If everyone is a racist, then no one is.
Imagine if everyone was a “rapist”.
Have you ever heard of the trope Then Let Me Be Evil ?
I wonder if the trope “Then Let Me Be Racist” will apply if this pattern continues.
It is a good thing that there is no campaign to dumb down the definition of rape, as the trope “Then Let Me Rape” would be disastrous all around.
Unfortunately, I have to disagree with your conclusion: Bluntly, your confirmation bias is showing in how you interpret the list. The article was A History of Steve King’s Racist Remarks,” not “A List of Racist Things Steve King Has Said.”
Although I should note that it now has a different headline on the NYT website: “Steve King’s Racist Remarks and Divisive Actions: A Timeline.” That brings up a whole ‘nother set of ethics issues (such as the post-publication historical revisionism involved), but I don’t want to get into that — and it has nothing to do with why your analysis is flawed anyway.
The problem is fundamental to what a “History of X” is. Simply put, any competent history of something doesn’t just detail that thing itself: it brings in enough outside details to tie that thing into its historical context and make it understandable. If I was discussing a history of the American Psychological Association ethics codes, for instance, I’d get into the impact of the introduction of Psy.D. programs and how that altered the organization’s internal politics, leading to its shift from an aspirational code in the 1981 edition to a mandatory code in its 1992 version. Depending on length, I might even get into the background factors which pushed that shift (e.g. the rise in demand for psychological and counseling services following the Vietnam War).
Would you call a history of the Civil War a “biased, unprofessional, untrustworthy hack publication” because it included a detailed discussion of the Three-Fifths Compromise, the history of the Mason-Dixon Line, and the Missouri Compromise… or would you accept their inclusion as evidence of the longstanding tensions which eventually lead to the war itself?
Similarly, any history of Steve King’s racist remarks must include the surrounding and connected behaviors to at least enough of an extent for a reader to understand the context in which they were made and the pattern of behavior that they were a part of. By this standard, every item you protest above was properly included.
Of course, none of this means that the New York Times is unbiased, professional, trustworthy, or trailblazing. It’s just that when you protest that, “It is incredible that the Times would be so dishonest, inflammatory and unfair as to assemble the “remarks” it chose under the description of ‘racist.'”… that’s not a fair characterization of what the Times actually did.
Wow, that’s a new entry in the sophistry sweepstakes. “The article was A History of Steve King’s Racist Remarks,” not “A List of Racist Things Steve King Has Said.”
REMARK: “to say something as a comment; mention.”
The fact that the Times stealth-changed its headline proves it was caught, and called out on its hack methodology. Some, like Brit Hume, argues that there were NO racist remarks in the article at all. He’s wrong, but still: if you are going to make the argument that the totality of King’s career, sentiments and statements suggest he’s a racist, fine. Saying here are racist things he’s said, and then including things other have said, or thing’s he has said that are simply not racist in any way, is pure dishonest hackery. It’s simply irresponsible to claim that advocating an official law designating English as the official language of the US is “racist,” and if we accept your “logic,” the same position begins to make a case that any English advocate is racist.
Nice, virtuous, woke Canada has an official language–TWO in fact. Racists!
You are very clearly misunderstanding my argument, Jack. The key part of your interpretation I’m disputing is the meaning of “a history of”, not “remark.” Notably, the following statement is a massive non-sequitur:
“Saying here are racist things he’s said, and then including things other have said, or thing’s he has said that are simply not racist in any way, is pure dishonest hackery.”
Y’see, the thrust of my comment — made explicit at several points — was that the Times did not make that claim. A more honest characterization of what they said would be, “Here’s the context of his comments and an illustration of the pattern of behavior and rhetoric that they are part of.”
As I put it in my original comment, “any competent history of something doesn’t just detail that thing itself: it brings in enough outside details to tie that thing into its historical context and make it understandable.”
And, by that standard, every item in the list was properly included.
I honestly don’t understand how you can possibly interpret their headline as “Here’s the context of his comments and an illustration of the pattern of behavior and rhetoric that they are part of.”. If that was their intent, they utterly failed to convey it, and as far as I can tell you had to bend over backwards giving them the benefit of the doubt so far you end up standing on your head.
If that was their intent, they are incompetent. The natural interpretation of the headline is the one Jack used.
No, I really didn’t. As I spent most of my first post discussing, a history of anything necessarily includes the context of the thing it’s a history of. The headline claimed that it was a history of his remarks — therefore it can, should, and must include enough of the context to understand where said remarks came from.
Jack’s interpretation only makes sense if you go into the analysis assuming and expecting bad faith on the Times’s part… and, frankly, that doesn’t lead to a fair assessment of conduct.
“Jack’s interpretation only makes sense if you go into the analysis assuming and expecting bad faith on the Times’s part… and, frankly, that doesn’t lead to a fair assessment of conduct.”
Perhaps you might better have said “may not”. instead of “doesn’t”, as assuming and expecting bad faith on the Times’s part regarding coverage of conservatives is not particularly unreasonable.
When someone says “…history of ” and then provides a bulleted list, the implication is that each bullet represents an instance of X.
The new headline is more accurate. Arguably, this is really evidence of bad headline writing, which the Times has certainly had it’s share of. I might quibble with the definition of “divisive” in some cases.
King has a long history of racist and “dog whistle” remarks. It is not necessary to reproduce the whole speech, writing, or interview in order to get a sense of the context, and his intent.
Of course, if you want to indulge in examining King’s comments complete with the full text of his every related utterance, by all means do so (I do wish you wouldn’t post it here, this thread is quite enough of King for me). But I suspect you will come to the same conclusion Jack did.
Are you dog whistling to people with some acquaintance with the law (my own is only slight), who may have come across the similar sounding term “rebuttable presumption”, or do you genuinely not care that your previous, easy going, approach to precision may leave readers confused as to whether you are dog whistling, making another typo, or really do mean what you wrote?
This goes to “the command over the language to explore such distinctions competently”.
No, it was an obvious WordPress auto-correct typo. It doesn’t recognize rebuttable as a real word. I’ll fix it. But I’m glad it gave you some trivia to bitch about.
No, it wasn’t an obvious typo; I really couldn’t tell if you were carrying your recent imprecision over to this, too. And I wasn’t “bitching over trivia”, I was trying to use this issue – he who is faithful in little being also faithful in much – as a way to get through your blind spot here. I wanted you to realise it for yourself, though, because just telling someone about a blind spot usually gets blocked by that same blind spot. You really don’t see that your imprecision is substituting a “sounds [to you] like racism” for a lot of Mr. King’s actual remarks, as reported here at any rate. That is, things like not seeing a non-racist reading of “our babies”.
I just thought that it might get through to you more easily if I started at the other end, showing you a small case of your own imprecision right next to where you pointed out the high ground needed – the precision of careful language needed in all this. It’s like the way an effective joke happens inside the audience’s heads. I was mistaken; you are firm in this.
You really don’t know how astoundingly pompous this is, do you?
But that aside: King’s inept rhetoric makes it harder than it should be to decipher his intent, but his underlying beliefs seep through anyway. You can disagree with an assessment of single instances, but not the total mosaic, especially since he slips up so often. “White nationalism” isn’t exactly ambiguous, and when that is the context, the message of tap-dancing over “replacing OUR babies with THEIRS’ should be clear, and is, unless one is being obstinate. Just because a lot of accusations of “dog whistles” are bogus doesn’t mean dog whistles don’t exist. King’s existence is a dog whistle.
As I discovered upon greater knowledge of the man, King is NOT the hill to die on. Bigots are never a winning cause, unless you are progressive and the ends justify the means.
A bigot is defined as ‘a person who is intolerant towards those holding different opinions’ [late 16th century (denoting a superstitious religious hypocrite): from French, of unknown origin]. I cannot understand the use of that word here.
By saying ‘not the hill to die on’ you mean not worth protecting and defending. How wrong this seems to me!
What ‘hill’ is a valid one? (You might be interested in watching the vid I posted down below of the USPS issue).
The Republican Party has just done (again) what will continue to erode it. They are traitors.
I do indeed know that I resort to ornate and formal language when I am resisting being provoked into an intemperate response. You may have noticed a former commenter here that I replied to like that.
Look, I have been trying to get a point over to you. I know from experience that you close off with anger if I simply tell you when you don’t know what you are talking about, e.g. when I once told you that you didn’t even know what a cockney was (and I know the risk I am taking by reminding you of that, even at this remove of time). So I tried backing into it this time, and then when you let that slide off and tried mockery rather than engagement – well, I avoided being provoked by using a tried and tested method.
I am not going to show you the error of your thinking directly, here and now. I am simply going to remind you when you do it again, in some other case. Here and now, I’m simply going to leave you with this food for thought: it would be moral luck, a stopped clock sort of thing, if Mr. King were all you accuse him or suspect him of, and he could very well be all of that; but the reasoning you were using before is still the very same sort of “substitute the ‘it sounds like’/guilt by association” thing you have noted that others made in other times, places and accusations. Switching to sounder arguments and evidence in no way rectifies the sort of thing I was trying to reveal, that you did before.
In sum, I’m telling you about you, not about Mr. King. It’s not getting through, and I’m not going to degenerate into hurtful bluntness – even if you mock that avoidance. I’m just going to let you take as much rope as you like, for now.
If what you say is so — it sounds largely to be so — I think you have pretty much nailed what is the issue. (In an admirable essay). That is, the group of issues that are at the core of the political and social conflict now coming out in the open in the US. One could start with this as a sort of list and then define what one thinks about each one.
What I suggest is the complete and total *opening up* of the conversation on exactly these topics. Easy perhaps for me to say this because (to all appearances) I read more widely than most. I have already investigated each of these topics in considerable detail.
I have — it would seem — crossed a line in what I allow myself to think and to understand (and certainly to say). Most people I have noticed are terrified of being seen as having crossed that line! Even to suggest that they have crossed a line is enough to scare the daylight out of them.
The American thinker is not a free-thinker (but it is only fair to say that thought is highly controlled everywhere, in America, in Europe, and in the anglophone world). His and her thinking is conditioned by the pressures of intellectual coercion and the social coercion that stands behind a politically correct regime of thought. This ‘regime’ is noticeable insofar as the Media System is monolithic. The MSM is a highly managed system. But so is the entire education system. Simply put, this means that there is a group of topics that are off-limits for consideration. Bring them out and *they* will destroy you. One must note that this is going on right now, today.
But now, as everyone seems to be aware, it is now completely possible to by-pass the MSM and those ‘information managers’ whose function is to organize narratives and send them out to be received by the mass-mind. People are doing this but there is a dangerous reality: just as one could get *informed* one could also get *misinformed* in strange and alarming ways. [See Michael Barkun: A Culture of Conspiracy: Apocalyptic Visions of Contemporary America, Univ. of California 2003].
You have created a list that is also a condemnation and a verdict. If I say “I like and appreciate Pat Buchanan” (I have not read him yet), that very act means that by doing so I agree that I am also an antisemite, a xenophobe, a homophobe and a racist.
The way that you have set this up is identical to the way that the former contributor Chris sets it up. And it is more or less the same that most SJWs set it up. It is also the way that the NYTs sets it up. It is a way to ‘shut down the possibility of conversation’. You have described, in essence, a ‘playbook’.
And I think that you have gone right to the core of defining ‘the parameters of thinkable thought’, which means that you have outlined unthinkable thought.
Therefore, to take a stand against what you say, is to defend Steve King, and in that act of defense also to explain:
1) why criticism of Jewish influence in America is necessary
2) why xenophobia is rational and necessary
3) why homophobia is a valid and also necessary position
4) and why racism is a necessary position to have and define
You have set this up and made it inevitable. But you have also done a service by clearly defining, in clear an unambiguous terms, what the precise and exact issues really are.
I take this challenge! In fact I took it many years ago. I have been working quite exactly in this area for 5 years and a bit more. It is also important to understand that many many people are now ‘taking this challenge’. In the English-speaking world certainly, but all over the world!
(The intellectual world is opening up, and there is a movement that is developing that confronts liberal monoliths and coercive intellectual control.)
But what I think we must notice is that by taking the challenge I have placed myself ‘outside of the Pale’. I have just made myself within the intellectual and social world a Pariah [an outcast, persona non grata, leper, reject, untouchable, undesirable].
Now, I would modify each of your terms and I do not accept them with the pre-established meanings that are used in devious and underhanded American discourse. These are all trick terms and they are loaded terms. And this is what my critique, my defense, my explanation, will necessarily amount to: an examination of each of these hot terms, and a redefinition of them. But I will not undertake that effort here. It would open into an exposition where I take each of these terms and explain how the New European Right and the New American Right deal with each of them.
I actually understand your complaint here, and you have a good point. Liking and appreciating someone’s writing is not necessarily the same thing as agreeing with their conclusion, or every sentence they wrote.
But it is today, isn’t it? In the 1960’s, if I had said I like and appreciate Mein Kampf, I would’ve been ostracized as a public figure. It wouldn’t matter if I disagreed with Hitler’s conclusions, or his rhetoric — any admiration of such words would have been seen as agreement in toto.
And it’s even worse today. We don’t dare agree or admire, even in part, with the words of anyone deemed a racist, homophobe, sexist, etc. Even to like such a person personally is seen as a complete adoption of the worst of their principles. Even listening to such a person speak, or reading what they wrote is an indictment.
This is a manifest wrong. Unfortunately, it is also uncorrectable, and because of it’s uses in gaining political power, here to stay.
Actually, everyone, or almost, likes Pat Buchanan in Washington and the media. That’s why he has survived so long. Like James Carville, he is known as great guy to have a beer with.
How can they like or be seen with a racist? Maybe the Washington Elite know that the word is simply political crap labeling without substance?
That would be a secondary point.
What I meant is if I like and appreciate the content of his ideas (and agree with his conclusions) “that very act means that by doing so I agree that I am also an antisemite, a xenophobe, a homophobe and a racist”.
Each of those terms is a ‘hot’ term and they are used in specific senses, always by those with a particular point of view. And this is how Jack uses them.
The only way I could agree to their use is if I redefined them.
Therefore, to respond to the accusation I would have to launch into 4 separate essays.
That is why these *hot terms* are problematic. They are pre-charged and they render conversation problematic. (And that is often why they are used).
I am unclear as to how one could, for example, appreciate racist content and agree with racist conclusions and not themselves be a racist. You’re going to have to explain that to me.
I will do my best because I see that I cannot make my point clear. I make this effort to describe it to a *you* that may or may not be you. Here:
You use the term *racist* with your own specific definition. Your term makes sense to you and when you talk to another person who has the same or similar view, your terms ‘agree’. And you look out on the world and apply your term. The term comes out of a specific ‘school of thought’ and comes with baggage.
I reject your definition of the term, and I reject your use of the term. Your term is shallow, tendentious, and ‘hot’. You, like a classic SJW, employ your term like a club. Its purpose is to beat people. And if you cannot strike them directly and knock them out you can ‘shame’ them. Because it is a highly charged moralizing term.
I define myself as a ‘race-realist’. And I have struggled to define my views ethically and also morally. I do not object to noticing or describing physical, intellectual, or any sort of difference that may exist between humans. My definitions start, perhaps I can say, from that point but they definitely extend into many other different areas. In order to express my position, and what it induces me to ‘conclude’, is not simple. It requires careful explanation. I can do this. But it takes time and energy. Thus, every refutation requires a small essay (as I said).
You (I gather) would hear my explanation and would still call it ‘racist’. The reason is because you use a hot and binary term that allows for little nuance.
Buchanan’s position is one that I understand. I agree with him. (I have not read his books but I have read essays and watched interviews and talks). I agree with many of his assertions. I understand what he is getting at and why. I do not see him nor do I interpret him with your pet term: racist. I see him as articulating ideas in a similar arena and field as mine: a liberal racial, cultural, ethnic and social realism. I put emphasis now on the word ‘liberal’ as in ‘classically liberal’.
Buchanan is a racist in your lexicon of definitions and you wield this definition against him and anyone who thinks like him. And perhaps too he is a homophobe, an antisemite and a xenophobe according to you.
I see your point (rather I feel your point since the word has that intrusive sense to it) but each of those terms requires a careful redefinition if I am going to accept the definitions you assert.
I can define a counter-homosexual position. I can define a Jewish-critical position. And I can define a reason to have aversion to foreigners (if I take the word in the Greek sense: ξένος (xenos), ‘strange’, or ‘foreigner’, and φόβος (phobos) ‘fear, aversion’).
All of these *constructs* of Post-sixties liberal and hyper-liberal definition are being reexamined. Not making this up!
I’m giving the Times a pass on this one. Given who he is, he isn’t entitled to the benefit of the doubt. Here’s how the Times read the last sentence:
When I read it, those bracketed words jumped out at me even in their absence. Even if white Americans do wind up as “dying” in his construction, that isn’t necessarily true of American civilization. It goes without saying, but American culture will not necessarily die if white Americans decline. It will if we allow other cultures to replace it by allowing unassimilated immigrants to form their own mini-countries and dominate the election process. Racist.
Of course it is, Jack! The Constitution explicitly says so.
I agree with the unassimilated immigrants argument implicit in his comment, but the rest is a problem.
It is a close call. “Western civilization is a superior civilization…” treads very close to the line of bigotry.
In fact, too close for me. Given his history, I have to conclude this statement is intended to be racist, even if it is textually ambiguous enough to be otherwise. He has not earned the benefit of the doubt. Racist.
“Indication?” Heh. It’s already a demonstrable fact. Bret Kavanaugh, Jack Marshall on line 1…
Agreed wholeheartedly. Worse, he’s ether afflicted by late-stage syphilis, early-stage dementia, or is just manifestly stupid.
I think I can say that I understand your position. I am really very much opposed to it. I also think I can refute it point by point. But it is not a question of *refutation* is it? It is that you have a very different vision of things. And certainly of what should be. One can’t refute such a thing.
On *our side*, if I may be allowed to speak like this, we are actively opposing these views and ideas. We couch our appeal and our argument in a sense of impending danger (or doom and even disaster).
While I see that much of what you advocate for is sort of abstractly constitutional and limited to America, all of our ideas and arguments are part of a different and meta-political discourse.
I just mention that *by the way*.
Of course he is. All White Men(and now the women) are. At least according to academics. You send your kid to school with PB&J sandwiches? That’s just ostracizing the immigrant child eating his falafel. Mathematics be racist too. Same as showing up on time. Having a standard for a student’s use of English in essays is hardcore White Supremacy. Just like mowing your lawn.
The danger of this thinking is that when everything is racist, nothing is.
The trope “…then let me be racist...” comes to mind
“At the Republican National Convention in July, Mr. King claims that nonwhite groups haven’t contributed as much as whites to civilization: “This whole business does get a little tired. I would ask you to go back through history and figure out where are these contributions that have been made by these other categories of people you are talking about. Where did any other subgroup of people contribute more to civilization?”
I really would need to see everything in this discussion to declare this racist. If this is a criticism of the “include a contribution from a non-white person for every accomplishment of the West in the textbooks” strained effort at multiculturalism, then I think this falls under the true category. I mean, even Snopes had to admit this is overdone.
What he said — though true and fair (a very standard idea of classical Liberal thought) — was immediately ‘spotted’ by the man to his right. He knew that just to say such a thing is forbidden even if true. The other fellow also got immediately nervous.
The Black woman had no other option but to react. Her reaction though was irrational. But I would not say that it is not *understandable*.
And this is how — if I have the right metaphor — they extended to Steve King the rope needed to hang himself.
Looking at that exchange, I would not view that as racist. It is definitely not politically correct. However, if you look at history, it is a valid opinion. There is a reason European civilization colonized the world, physically, militarily, and culturally.
In my understanding of things this is where all of this is tending.
It is hard for me not to see a similar intention in operation in the case of Steve King. The issue is simple: just by having ideas that deviate slightly from what is allowed in the public sphere he must, by their logic, be removed.
It is an effort to rein-in people in the political world (those who work in government in this case), and is part of a general effort to villify people who think differently within the open culture.
“the ongoing tendency of the leftward, anti-conservative news media to assert that statements that are not racist are, and indeed to obliterate any precise meaning of racism into convenient vagueness.”
No kidding. This behavior has also infected (or originated within?) academia and politics, not just the media. The same fate has befallen “sexist” and “privileged” and any number of other formerly useful and meaningful words. Ironically, as a result of this incessant campaign, these words have been rendered utterly meaningless, but they’ve been made fully capable of being wielded as cudgels against any target at will.
This quote from the article jumps out at me, ““I don’t know whether this woman had a mental illness or it was racial profiling because we were the only black people in line,” Danyel Smith tells Yahoo Lifestyle. “But her white privilege made her think she could ask me to move, for whatever reason.”
So, the woman is smart enough to recognize that the person may have been mentally ill (commentators wonder if she may be on the spectrum because of her fixation on there being available chairs for people who are standing), but still thinks that this mysterious “white privilege” prompted her to insist the two people sit down (and not the same mental disorder she allows the person might have).
The article says she goes everywhere with a charged cell phone and an extra battery, just in case she gets discriminated against. She has told her children that they will be discriminated against. She also was dismayed that every witness did not jump to her rescue, or tell her how great she was afterward: “I was the victim, yet people were telling me I should make sure the woman was OK and that she didn’t miss her flight?”
If you are looking for trouble in the first place, it might be easier to find…
Thanks for providing this evaluation, it was truly eye opening.
My opinion aboit what I just read:
What is abunduntly clear to me is that King is a world class idiotic BIGOT that has a tendency to shove both of is ignorant feet in his mouth at the same time. I won’t justify open bigotry. If nothing else; the man is a damn bigoted fool and has earned his just reward with his stupidity.
I think all racists are bigots but not all bigots are racists. That said…
I do think that it’s completely reasonable to label this damn bigoted fool as a rascist based on his words alone but I also think that the racist statements fit really nicely into hanlon’s razor terrotory for a world class idiotic bigot. I have no problem with people calling King a rascist.
If King wants to change the perception others have of him then that change must begin with him; he needs to properly educate himself outside of his echo chamber and strip himself of his bigotry.
I hate traveling and having to read and type on these friggin little phones; but on the other hand, at least I can still participate in the blog from afar.
Not just that.
The Washington Post editorial board endorsed racial segregation.
What room does the editorial board have in criticizing Steve King?
King vs the NYT is just like Alien vs Predator. No matter who wins, we lose.
Or how about the Washington Post.
There’s this. It is from The White Mississippian:
‘I Love My Skin!’ Why White Parents Are Turning to Ethnocentric Schools
While Mississippi schools are deeply segregated, some white families are choosing an alternative to integration.
Kidding. I modified a NYTs article:
What does it say (about me, if nothing else) that I accepted what you wrote simply because I know there are progressive schools that are this way?
I do not believe we are far from this if the hatred of whites just because they are white does not stop.
I wonder what these people’s criticisms of Steve King would be?
They need no more than the fact he is white, and is thus the cause of and bears sole responsibility for all the ills in the world. /sn
I heard a rumor that the Nazis in Germany blamed a particular group of people for all the ills in the world.
I wonder if anything bad happened as a result…
I have to agree with Z on this. The guy is a bigot, but not proven a racist.
How many comments did Obama make that could be construed as racist? Was Obama therefore a racist? (Better question: was Obama a bigot? Your Mileage May Vary but this is rhetorical.) How about Maxine Waters?
I agree with Jack on verdicts 1,2 and 4. Certifying the guy as racist means we can certify MANY politicians racist.
But since the word no longer has meaning, maybe that is just peachy.
In my initial comment on “Fairness Inquiry: Is Rep. Steve King A Racist?,” I felt that four of the statements were racist, disputing only the “slow-motion Holocaust” one. Lately, I remembered seeing that in some instances, prominent NeverTrump conservatives have embraced the notion of replacing presumed Trump supporters with immigrants.
See this Tweet by Jennifer Rubin in response to a column by Max Boot:
“If only we could keep the hard-working Latin American newcomers and deport the contemptible Republican cowards — that would truly enhance America’s greatness.”
Then, there is Bill Kristol openly supporting a similar approach in February 2017 at an AEI forum (video of the entire speech is here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bs0h9ieLPyw) as covered by the Washington Times and Daily Caller:
Based on this, I can no longer believe the “someone else’s babies” and “demographic transformation” posts are racist, and instead point to the actual desires of SOME of Trump’s opponents. I think it is fair to say that accurately quoting someone’s objectives or desires is not being racist. What Steve King is doing in the immigration debate would be like saying Gun Owners of America wants to repeal virtually every gun-control law on the books.
My take that Representative King is an American chauvinist who has said racist things stands. He is willing to turn a blind eye to white nationalists as part of that chauvinism, and lacks the self-awareness of how that comes across.
A couple of points: One is that if you are seeing this only in the limited context of Trump and those who oppose him, you are seeing it too limitedly.
The issue of ‘white replacement’ is a meta-political issue and one that pertains to Europe and to all the English-speaking world. So especially the US, Canada, Australia and NZ. One has also to mention, at least, South Africa where, as it is turning out, a real genocide is being talked about and being enacted.
I admit that in order to gain a sense of the larger, meta-political issue one will have to circumvent to MSM and begin to look into alternative sources. I also know that this process of doing that is disturbing. There is too much information floating around, too much ‘confusion of narratives’.
Steve King (as evidenced by his Austrian interview) is aware of the New European Right and aware of the chaos that is now affecting Europe. What this means is that he is aware of the issue ‘meta-politically’ and not just through a limited American lens. One of the reasons that King is attacked is just that: the fear that a New American Right will develop contacts and relationships with the New European Right. Remember: this movement is opposed to standard ‘Conservatism’ and they see conservatives as serving progressive policies and ideology.
The jettison of Steve King is a travesty carried out by cowards and also traitors (in a strict sense of the word) because it means that the Republican Party will cast out of itself what in fact it needs more than anything.
Keep in mind that right now in Europe, today, the Yellow Vest Protests continue. What goes on there is completely unreported as is its meaning. These events are devastating to a European economic elite and have profound implications.
If it ever happened that white America — the founding and core demographic of America, the ones who created it, built it and sustain it — became similarly aware and activist, the very structure of power in the US would be challenged. Whatever power-group stands behind, say, the NYTs is scared to death that such a thing happen and use all their rhetorical power, and behind the scenes machinations, to work against this.
And if it happened that *average Americans* of European stock were to get clear about what has been done to them and what will be done, they could really act in their world and mold it. As it is, they are kept from that.
One of the better sources of information on this Counter-Currents publications. And a book to read on the topic is The White Nationalist Manifesto by Greg Johnson. At one point or another, today, tomorrow or 5 years from now, people are going to have to become consciously aware of the idea movement that is developing influence.
What *we* face today — Europe, the European-descended — has been described as the greatest crisis *we* have yet faced historically. If this cannot be seen and understood — if one will not see and understand it — one will just be a victim of contingent events. (The Present does require interpretation and that interpretation is meta-political.) Therefore, knowledge and the gaining of it is crucial. One will not get that from any *mainstream source*.
I wish to point out a historical fact that boosts your analysis, Alizia.
“If it ever happened that white America — the founding and core demographic of America, the ones who created it, built it and sustain it — became similarly aware and activist, the very structure of power in the US would be challenged.
When these common traditional cultural Americans (yes, the majority who hold traditional values are melanin challenged, but not exclusively: this is a cultural trait) are moved to action, the world changes in drastic and emphatic ways.
– Pearl Harbor was such an event. The public was aroused and empires fell
– The Reagan Administration was a smaller example. The Carter Malaise and constant drumbeat of how terrible America was, and that she was doomed caused common Americans to rally behind Reagan, whose message was hope and recovery. The USSR fell out of this awakening
– 9/11 was a great awakening. Power around the world has shifted as a result (whatever you think of the results today, the power was from these people)
– Trump’s election was a reaction to the Globalism of Obama and ‘those jobs are never coming back.’ Common Americans, some of whose family had not voted GOP back to their grandparents, joined together to reject the progressive and globalist agenda
There are other examples but the fact is clear: awaken this demographic at your peril.
Therefore, the media is doing all it can to keep that giant asleep! Should that power be turned inward, no army on Earth could stop them.
Good Morning. We are talking about different things. If I use the example of the Yellow Vest Protest, and if you accept it, a different meaning emerges.
I am, in certain ways, an historical revisionist. But so is the *movement* of which I am a part. We look at history and the narratives that have been used to construct the present differently. Each of your examples from your list can be talked about from a different perspective than I gather they operate for you.
Now, we are in a *world* that is an evolution of that former world. We now live in the outcome of ‘all that’. I often mention things and think that people will immediately understand, then I see that they don’t. To refer to ‘globalism’ is to refer to ‘the Americanopolis’. There is no way to separate America from its postwar project. We now live in that ‘outcome’.
Now, large groups of people are showing that they have issues with this. That is, with ‘social engineering’ which is what it comes down to. France, Britain, Poland, Hungary just to name a few. I say that to understand what is going on, one must be able to *see* it. And when I say *see* I mean ‘to interpret’.
Obviously, I am referring to a different sort of awakening than what (I think from reading what you have written) you seem to mean.
I see this differently. I agree that the public was roused, but in the sense of ‘manipulated’. The ideological regimentation was established as a result, and continues through today.
9/11 has functioned / is functioning similarly.